Durant's late bucket helps Thunder edge HawksJan 28, 2014 - 5:52 AM
It was much tougher getting his Oklahoma City Thunder over the hump.
Durant had 41 points, including a go-ahead jumper with 1.5 seconds left, as the Thunder rallied for a 111-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Durant, who was 15-of-25 from the floor, 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and 6-of-8 from the foul line, has scored 30-or-more points in 11 straight games. It is the longest such streak since Tracy McGrady scored 30-or-more in 14 consecutive contests in March and April of 2003.
"There's nothing more to say," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said of Durant. "He's a special player. He's going to be an MVP candidate until he decides to retire. He's an amazing teammate, which I'm as proud of that, as he is as a player. He cares about the game. He cares about his team. He cares about Oklahoma City. He's just a great ambassador, not only to our team but the league and to the basketball world."
OKC trailed by eight at the start of the fourth, but Durant's step-back jumper over DeMarre Carroll with 25.5 ticks on the clock gave the Thunder their first lead, 109-107, since it was 2-0 in the early going.
Paul Millsap drove in for a game-tying layup at the other end with 22.3 seconds to go.
Durant received a pass from Reggie Jackson near the top of the arc with about seven seconds left and quickly got a step on Carroll with the right-handed dribble. Durant then pulled up from the right elbow and swished in the jumper before a pair of Hawks players were able to converge on him.
"I couldn't ask for a better executed play," Brooks said.
Atlanta was unable to get a final shot off.
Durant had OKC's final seven points.
Jackson added 18 points and five assists for the Thunder, who have won eight consecutive games.
Millsap registered 23 points and eight rebounds for Atlanta, which has dropped two of its last three tilts.
"Our group really competed tonight," Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. "I think their commitment to each other and their commitment to playing the way we want to play is excellent."
Durant's right-wing triple with 9:36 remaining gave him 31 points and his three-point play a bit later pulled the Thunder within 99-96 a little before the midway point of the fourth.
Back-to-back Hawks buckets by Millsap and Shelvin Mack extended the lead back to 103-96, but Jackson capped an 8-2 spurt with a 3-pointer to claw OKC within 105-104 with 4:18 to play.
A few minutes later, Durant's driving layup knotted the contest at 107-107 with 2:11 left.
Mack nailed three of Atlanta's first four triples in the opening four-plus minutes as the Hawks raced out to a 12-3 advantage.
Atlanta hit five 3-pointers in all in the first quarter as the visitors took a 32-26 advantage into the second.
Durant, who had seven points in the opening stanza, nailed seven straight shots after missing his first two from the floor. His pull-up trey at the first-half buzzer, however, was off the mark and Atlanta headed into break with a 57-50 cushion.
Durant tallied 18 points in the first half and added 10 more in the third, but Atlanta took an 87-79 margin into the fourth.
The Thunder shot 52.4 percent (43-of-82) from the field and 52 percent (13- of-25) from beyond the arc ... The Hawks held a 56-38 points in the paint advantage ... Atlanta was 11-of-12 from the foul line ... Serge Ibaka had six of the Thunder's 10 blocks.
Jan 27 10:23 PM
- ATLANTA: 87
OKLAHOMA CITY: 79
End of 3rd
Jan 27 9:41 PM
- ATLANTA: 57
OKLAHOMA CITY: 50
Jan 27 9:00 PM
- ATLANTA: 32
OKLAHOMA CITY: 26
End of 1st
Jan 27 8:33 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 2
1st Quarter - 11:03
Jan 27 8:18 PM
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